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Dan Hooker Opens Up on UFC 257 Loss To Michael Chandler

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UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker opens up on his recent loss at UFC 257. The New Zealand native suffered a huge set-back when he welcomed former Bellator champion Michael Chandler to the UFC octagon, suffering a first-round knockout in the process.

Prior to the matchup, Dan Hooker insisted he always prepares for the worst-case scenario but could never expect tasting defeat as he did and feels he’s wasted the last four months of his life preparing for Michael Chandler.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JANUARY 23: Dan Hooker of New Zealand prepares to fight Michael Chandler in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

As Bruce Buffer called the winner, Dan Hooker left the audience with questions after removing his gloves and leaving them on the canvas, which is usually a sign that the fighter is calling it a day in the sport. Since then Dan Hooker has addressed the recent speculation in an interview with Submission Radio.

Dan Hooker on his UFC 257 Loss

“You’re always frustrated after a loss,” a cheery Hooker said. “At that moment [in the cage], I was like, ‘I’m done. I’m finished with this sh*tty sport. I’m done.’ And then you get back to the hotel and you sit down and think about it, and you realize you’re not good at anything else either. I was kind of thinking, ‘sh*t, I’ve kind of painted myself into a bit of a corner here.’”

After the loss Dan Hooker went silent on social media and vanished from the public eye, leaving fight fans wondering where his heads at. Hooker then said, he felt like there was nothing to say.

“To be honest, I had nothing to say,” Hooker told Submission Radio. “Like a week went past and what can you say? What can you say? You have good days and bad days. You go into this kind of thing and you prepare yourself for worst-case scenarios, but even that took the cake. Even then it surprised me how bad it went. That was a very surprising thing. So I was like, what can you say? I had no words to describe it. You come to and then you’re just like, I’ve just wasted four months of my life for that.”

Dan Hooker then followed that up addressing the loss itself and evaluating where he went wrong.

“I zigged when I should have zagged, that’s all it is,” Hooker added. “Fighting is like a mixture of thinking and your reactions. You’re balancing your processed thought and then your reactions. I felt like I was calm, could see everything, was thinking, was sharp in there, just relied on my reaction to get out of the way of that punch, and it let me down. It’s hard to describe. It’s like such an obvious error and such a very costly mistake.

“He changed levels,” Hooker concluded. “I think I relied on my reaction time. He sold the level change well. I thought he was going for a takedown, comes upstairs with a punch. There’s a million things I could’ve done that would’ve changed that. There’s a million different reactions that I could’ve done and that not happen. But it did. What can you do? I certainly don’t have a time machine.”

Dan Hooker has now lost two consecutive matches for the first time since 2010. Where do you want to see ‘The Hangman’ go from here?


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